The Radium Girls tells the forgotten true story of the women who worked in watch factories in the early twentieth century, using radium to paint glowing numbers on watch faces. At the time, radium was hailed as a cure-all with physicians touting its numerous health benefits and big companies jumping at the chance to incorporate it into everyday American life.
When these women, dubbed the ‘glowing girls’ for quite literally glowing because of how much radium was on their skin and clothes, started suffering from horrifying and debilitating illnesses and maladies, their doctors did not conclude that radium was the culprit for quite some time. What followed was years of suffering and death before the first all-women class-action lawsuit occurred.
The Radium Girls is an important story to read and discuss. Author Kate Moore will be visiting Saturn this Thursday, May 25th for a discussion and signing of her book. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets for this event.
Ariel Levy has made a career out of reporting stories from all over the globe, but some of her best writing is in her memoir, The Rules Do Not Apply. Levy crafts sentences that are so poetic and beautiful, I found myself re-reading them just so I could savor the words.
Her story starts out happy and typical. She is working in the field she loves, she has a great relationship and, after the pressures of society and her social groups, she gets married. Soon, they are expecting their first child. But all of that is backstory. What Levy goes through, the subsequent heartbreak and loss of her future, is the real meat of her book. Levy thought she had everything she could ever want, and it was quickly taken from her. Her memoir is about rebuilding her life and redefining happiness, and it serves a reminder to be thankful for the ups and downs life brings.
Windy City Blues tells the true story of Chess Records and the birth of the blues and rock and roll in Chicago. It also tells the fictional stories of Leeba Groski, a Polish immigrant who feels like an outsider even after being in America since she was a child, and Red Dupree, a musician from the deep south who is awestruck by the opportunity in the city.
Leeba and Red connect through their shared love of the blues and start a romantic relationship despite the hardships they face as an interracial couple. The book follows Red’s fictional music career and the very real careers of the greats, like Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry, as they navigate the changing sounds of music in America during the dawn of the civil rights era.
This book was interesting to read because of its depictions of true events and important players in the civil rights movement and the music industry in the early 50s. But it was also eye-opening to read about the struggles that Leeba and Red faced and the realization that their experiences ring true for many people in our country even today.
Adapted from her 2012 TEDx talk, author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie explores a more modern definition of feminism in We Should All Be Feminists. She weaves her own experiences with ideologies and narratives of other marginalized groups and people without a voice in society. Adichie addresses issues of inequality and tasks the reader with committing to doing better when it comes to inclusion and empathy. Everyone should read this pocket guide to feminism.
Christine wakes up in an unfamiliar room next to a man she doesn’t know. Confused and slightly afraid, she slowly realizes that she’s in her own home next to her husband of 20 years, and she simply doesn’t remember these facts about her own life. In fact, she doesn’t remember anything.
Suffering from amnesia after an injury 17 years earlier, Christine wakes up each day with a clean slate and no memories from before the accident. She’s forced to trust what her husband tells her about who she is and what her life is like.
Then Christine finds her journal, and then she finds out that even though she might not remember who she is, she’s been writing down her story and leaving herself clues to piece together her life in her own words. But can she really trust her own words? Can she trust anyone’s account of what happened to her?
Fans of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train will love this psychological thriller with an unreliable narrator and twists and turns that will keep you guessing.
Lauren Graham’s new memoir, Talking as Fast as I Can, is the perfect mix of funny anecdotes and encouraging advice. The book is a quick read, only about 209 pages, but it delves into the important parts about the actress and her most memorable roles. Lauren’s voice is ever-present while reading, and I found myself devouring the book and her quirky tales of life on set. Pick up your copy at Saturn, and start reading as fast as you can!
Eva and Jim meet when her bicycle tire is punctured by a stray nail...or Eva and Jim meet when she swerves and hits a rock...or Eva and Jim don’t meet at all. In The Versions of Us, three different realities unfold. In one scenario, the two main characters face life together, in another they’re apart, and in yet another, they haven’t met at all. This book shows that the little things truly define our lives and can change them drastically. But it also shows that some things are meant to be, and that despite a number of variables, people end up right where they should.
The Versions of Us is hard to explain and even harder to put down. If you go more than a day without reading a few chapters, it’s tricky to remember where the story left off, or the multiple stories, rather. If you’re a fan of epic love stories spanning decades, or books that make you think ‘what if’ like Atonement or One Day, then this novel is for you.
I’ve been a fan of Amy Schumer for years. I watch her show, I’ve seen her stand-up live, and I follow her on social media. So when her book, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, was released, I knew I needed a copy.
Schumer’s book is a collection of stories, lists, and pictures that help the reader get a better understanding of the comedienne and her journey to becoming a household name. She opened up about her childhood, her relationship with her parents, her criminal record, and her love for New York City.
Big parts of the book made me laugh out loud, and some sections even made me cheer for Amy, but her chapters on her father’s Multiple Sclerosis and the women who lost their lives in a movie theater shooting brought tears to my eyes. The book helped me see past the stage persona and a little bit into who Amy Schumer really is and what she cares about. I thought it was a very insightful read and I related to a lot of the things she said. Stop in for your copy!
The clash between Old Money and New Money is a tale we’ve heard before in novels like The Great Gatsby, and Stephanie Clifford’s novel, Everybody Rise, follows in the same vein.
Evelyn Beegan is definitely New Money, but her mother has always been determined to make sure Evelyn went to the best prep school, wore the right clothes, and generally fit in with the Old Money crowd. For Evelyn, the obsession with status was never important, and her rich friends were her friends because of their personalities. But when Evelyn lands a job at an internet startup for society’s elite, she suddenly has to care about the who’s who of East Coast high society. Approaching it first as a study and almost a game, Evelyn strategizes to make sure she is in the right place at the right time, wearing the right clothes, and trying to fit in with the Old Money crowd. But soon she is immersed in their world and is determined to hide the truth of her New Money family.
Stephanie Clifford will be at Saturn this Thursday, September 1st for a very fancy book signing. Click here for more information.
Brooklyn is the kind of book that sneaks up on you. I didn’t realize how invested I was in the characters’ lives until there were only 40 pages left and I couldn’t fathom that the story was about to end.
The novel’s main character, Eilis Lacey, is an Irish immigrant who travels across the ocean to start a new life in New York City. For Eilis, most of the decisions in her life are made by others, including the move to a new country. Homesickness and loneliness plague her until she starts to make a life for herself in this new place, landing a good job and a boyfriend. Just as Eilis gets comfortable living away from Ireland and everyone she used to know, a tragic family event has her heading back home and leaving the life and love she has in America. This is where the story starts to get complicated, and this is where my heart started to hurt for Eilis. Without giving too much away, Eilis must make her own decisions for the first time and they will change her life forever. I definitely recommend this novel.
Based on true events, The Danish Girl tells the story of Lili Elbe, a courageous woman who defied the norm and became the person she was always meant to be.
Lili was not always Lili. She was born Einar Wegener, a quiet artist who used his talent for painting the moors of his childhood to become famous in the European art community. Einar’s wife, Greta, is a golden-haired California-born artist struggling to thrive in her husband’s shadow. Over the course of a few decades, Einar and Greta navigate changing perspectives in the art community and moving away from their home in Copenhagen. At first, their marriage is enough for both of them. But as time goes on, Greta is haunted by her past marriage and the family she lost in California.
When Greta asks Einar to wear a pair of women’s shoes so she can complete a portrait, Einar finds a surprising sense of self in the clothes, and he begins to explore, with Greta’s help, the life of Lili.
As time goes on, Lili begins to become comfortable living each day as herself, and Einar becomes a distant memory...but not for Greta. Again, facing the loss of a husband, Greta must come to terms with who Lili is and whether or not she can help Lili move on from their life. Lili, reluctant at first, wholly accepts her true self and tries by any means necessary to live as the woman she always knew she was.